Flash floods destroy 54 bridges, 50 hotels in Hazara and Malakand

Published August 28, 2022
(Clockwise from left) Members of a family try to secure household items in their flooded house in Sardaryab area of Charsadda district on Saturday. People wade through floodwater after leaving their homes. A man carries a calf on his shoulders on a road. A motorcycle-rickshaw shifts goods of a family in Shabqadar area. — White Star
(Clockwise from left) Members of a family try to secure household items in their flooded house in Sardaryab area of Charsadda district on Saturday. People wade through floodwater after leaving their homes. A man carries a calf on his shoulders on a road. A motorcycle-rickshaw shifts goods of a family in Shabqadar area. — White Star

SWAT/MANSEHRA/LOWER DIR: The flash floods swept away over 490 houses, 50 hotels, 40 schools, 54 bridges, link roads, 200 riverbank spurs and scores of vehicles in Hazara and Malakand divisions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa since August 25, local officials said on Saturday.

The Swat administration reported the destruction of 233 houses, 41 schools, 50 hotels, and 24 bridges by the deluge in the district during the last three days.

According to officials, floodwaters also destroyed roads with a total length of 130 kilometers in the district.

They said more than 1,000 tourists stranded in Kalam and Bahrain areas were being evacuated by helicopter for the safe return to their respective areas.

Scores of people trapped in rivers rescued

The officials also said the administration had begun rehabilitation activities in the district, while teams were draining floodwaters and vaccinating livestock against diseases.

Information secretary Arshad Khan said around 10 tons of food items had been delivered to the people in the district.

The Kalam residents feared more floods.

The Frontier Works Organisation said it was busy clearing the blocked portion of the Karakoram Highway in Mansehra district to restore traffic between Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The residents of the calamity-hit Manoor, Mahandri and other areas of Kaghan valley complained about a delay in the start of relief activities.

The Lower Dir administration said the damaged portion of the Timergara Peshawar Road in Zulam area was repaired before its partial reopening to small vehicles. It said the riverbank was filled with boulders using heavy machinery.

Meanwhile, the Rescue 1122 workers saved the life of a man trapped in the Kunai stream in Takatak area of Lower Dir and that of three trapped in a building along the bank of the Panjkora River in Zwall Baba area.

Abdur Rehman of Rescue 1122 said during the last two days, the organisation had rescued 20 people from the flooded Talash stream, three from the Panjkora River in Zwal Baba area, one from the Maidan stream, 12 from a private hostel in Timergara and a teacher and three students from a private college in Timergara, and retrieved 10 bodies, including seven of children, two of women and one of a man from the debris of collapsed house roofs in different areas of the district.

The district administration reported the rescue of two people stranded in Kurrum River in Bannu. It said the two men got stranded in the river for four hours while crossing it for firewood.

Assistant commissioner Syed Abrar Ali Shah led the rescue team, which shifted the two men to a safe place.

Lakki Marwat assistant commissioner Shakil Ahmad handed over a compensation cheque to a flood-hit family, whose minor male member died in flash floods in Betanni tribal subdivision. He also gave away food and non-food items to them.

The AC said a detailed survey was being carried out in the region to assess flood losses and prepare a comprehensive report for prompt compensation of victims.

He said the administration had also shifted nine families to government buildings and provided them with food and non-food items.

Meanwhile, 90 people trapped in the middle of the Indus River in Hund area were rescued, Swabi deputy commissioner retired Captain Sanaullah in a social media message on Saturday.

He said the stranded people included the elderly, children and women.

The DC reported high flooding in the Kabul River and said many families were evacuated from the nearby areas over fears of a rise in water level.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan has nominated elementary and secondary education minister Shahram Khan Tarakai as the government’s focal person for relief activities in the district.

Also in the day, Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman urged the relevant authorities to ensure early evacuation of the people stranded in flood-hit areas and provision of relief goods to them.

He also appealed to the people to help out to the calamity victims in cash and kind.

During a visit to flood-hit Yarik, Muqeem Shah, Pusha Bridge and other areas in Dera Ismail Khan district, the JUI-F chief said the provincial and central governments should cooperate with each other and utilise all resources and government machinery for the relief and rehabilitation of families hit by flash floods.

Meanwhile, PPP deputy parliamentary leader in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly Ahmed Karim Khan Kundi participated in relief and rescue activities in Budh village, which was worst hit by flash floods.

Published in Dawn, August 28th, 2022

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